Glad to hear from you

I knew we had someone in that area, but couldn’t remember who. Very thankful you and yours are all safe. Jhon who was out of state when the OKC terrorist attack happened and was in panic mode until she found ds who was suppose to be in OKC that day to perform a concert.

We’re all in shock here

Everyone I know personally who I know was there has checked in as ok.
What a horror.
Boston Logan airport was closed for a while but reopened, ditto cellphones. I believe the story about the Saudi National was called false but it’s still early. The city is in semi-lockdown and my mailbox is full of cancellation announcements mixed with offers of help and notices of prayer gatherings.
It’s just so hard to fathom.

Fox News, who at first suggested it was merely a construction or gas line explosion.

Now they are saying that the authorities have determined it was a terrorist attack, because there were devices set that contained ball bearings. The two explosions were about 15-20 seconds apart and on opposite sides of the street. Two other unexploded devices have been located and since the original explosion the JFK library in Dorchester, Mass (a short distance away) has also had an explosion.

I know, I didn’t want to do it!

I was just recently widowed and when I (finally) sold our wheelchair van, I was left with $2,000. That would not have provided me with good enough transportation for the kids and I. I don’t work and I homeschool. I am living off of Social Security after my husband died, and have enough for the car payment (thank God). I could have done without a vehicle, except for the kids. I know we homeschool, but I didn’t want to be stuck here all the time (we are already enough, even with a vehicle!).

I will do my best to pay it off as soon as I can. I was really looking forward to getting that ffef taken care of..since you never know what’s going to happen..

And I always worry that $1000 isn’t enough as a homeowner. Most home repair emergencies probably cost more than that. We are blessed in that I paid off the house years ago, but it is very tight living on SS. I am doing what I can until the littlest is older (she’ll be two soon)…then I will probably go back to work. It would not make sense for me to work right now, and I’d rather be with her than put her in daycare 🙂

Thanks for the input.

While I understand why you may say this

there is much more to the story than that. As a NY mom of three young children, these test concern me. My oldest is in kindergarten this year so I have not had to have a child prepare for one yet. I have however talked with educators and other parents about them.
There are several problems with the new testing standards at this time and I can understand why some parents feel so strongly about them. Please check out the link below for a different look at this problem.
Is boycotting them the answer? Probably not but something sure needs to change.

I went to pick up our flooring

and the Guy has a 12 ft 1 1/2 inch thick butcher new block countertops. Now I LOVE butcher block! I had decided against it because it’s expensive. It was special order, cherry and the exact size I needed. It had been hit by a fort lift. I bought it for $200 and it retails for $850! We drug it home. I borrowed some clamps and glued it. It looks like new. I am so over the moon. Old me would have not even noticed a broke counter. After hanging with you all I thought I can fix that LOL

Ummmm, I’ve been asleep, sorry guys

I was up late due to my cough and so I slept in. The earthquakes were at Luther, which Is about 2 hours south of me near the Oklahoma City/Edmond area. It’s an area we were in a lot the 18 months we were on the road, but we’ve not been there in two years. They were shallow quakes and according to the reports I’ve read there was no real damage.

Thanks for checking on me, sorry to worry you guys.


We live in a 1100 sq ft apartment and we are out space with only 3 of us adults. Soon to be 4 (little guy), but we plan to move when our lease is up in September. Babies tend to have enough stuff that you have to find room for it somehow.

I stole a bunch of ideas off the tiny house blogs

We took two closets out making more floor space. We replaced them with wall storage. We took down a weight bearing wall and replaced it with a beam. It made the kitchen, living room and dining one huge room instead of 3 tiny ones. It wasn’t that hard and it doubled our living space. We added more windows to make it feel bigger
I love it. It always reminds me of the song Little houses by Doug Stone.;)

There are some pros and cons to mult-level homes

When I was younger I wanted a split level or two story home. Now that I am older and have a multi-level home I wonder what the fascination with it was. All those steps are a hazard for young and old alike. It makes moving furniture around harder, it makes cleaning the house harder, It makes remodeling and repairs harder, and should you ever need assistance in walking it makes much of the house off limits for you. While we plan on keeping this property the idea for ds to build a house is for it to all be on one level and when the time comes dh and I can’t negotiate the twelve sets of steps involved with this house (main level, sunken living/dinning area, upstairs, basement, sunken sunroom, raised porches, balcony…) then ds would take over this house and we’d live in the single level home. But no progress is being made on the single level house at this point due to finances.

Another suggestion

I would have is check with the various real estate departments of banks such as BOA, Wells Fargo etc and ask them who they close the most deals with, who they have found to be the most professional in timely closures, working with their clients etc. We use this approach any time we are looking to purchase something, get a repair etc. After all the professionals KNOW what products last the longest and who gives the best service.

One more idea to add to Jan’s make it yourself list:

Make you own breakfast griddle sandwiches:

2 mini pancakes with a egg, slice of cheese, and you choice of breakfast meat (sausage patty, bacon, or canadian ham)

I bought a muffin top pan off amazon that I use to bake the mini pancakes and eggs to make it go quick.

For the eggs–I just scramble them and pour into the greased pan.

I can make 12 sandwiches in less than a half hour.

Once baked—wrap in wax paper and freeze or refrigerate until needed.

These are my college kids favorite “one the go” breakfast.

P.S. Cost breakdown– $1.00 for pancake ingredients, $4.00 for sausage patties, and $1.00 for eggs and $1.00 for cheese—total cost of $7.00 for 12 sandwiches with leftover ingredients….

P.S.S. I make some with just sausage—some with sausage and egg…..some with sausage, egg, and cheese….and sometimes….bacon, egg, and cheese….all varieties are loved by the college kids and hubs!

My cheat on breakfast is

to buy the Jimmy Dean sausage, egg, and cheese croissants at the grocery store.
I microwave them for 90 seconds from frozen—taste better than McD’s.
Most grocery stores–you get 4 for about $4.
I buy a box of 12 at Sam’s club for $10.98.
That makes it out to less than a $1.00 a day for me…..
I eat one sandwich with a glass of orange juice or one sandwich and a piece of fruit with a cup of hot chocolate….making it about $1.00 a day.

Breakfast burritos, make these up on the weekend

fill a flour tortilla with your favorite breakfast foods like eggs, sausage, cheese, bacon etc. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze or refrigerate?depending on how quick you will use them.
Then while getting ready for work nuke for a few seconds and eat as you leave.
If you drink coffee, get a coffee maker with an autotimer or one of those k-kup things and have coffee equally as fast. Just as long as you remember to set it up the night before.
My guys like individual bottles of juice to drink in the car on the way to work. Of course being the tightwad I am I have cups with lids that they can fill and take full of juice made by the quart around here?much cheaper. They arent coffee drinkers, but they will take a to go cup of juice or milk with them.
McMuffins: On the weekends make up several McMuffins there at home with Canadian bacon/ham, sausage or bacon eggs and cheese on a toasted English Muffin treat like the breakfast burritos?nuke and go.
Sausage biscuits?like Mickey Ds. Same ingredients on them at home, make on the weekends or in the evenings, nuke and go.
If you like granola bars purchase some and grab one as you leave.
Ds eats a lot of yogurt for breakfast, but that he either eats before he leaves or when dh is driving, eating a yogurt while driving yourself could be hazardous to everyones health.
Make a big batch of pancakes on the weekend, or in the evenings. Store them in a container in the refrigerator with pieces of wax or parchment paper between them , nuke, and toppings and slow down long enough to eat it before you leave?syrup doesnt do well behind the stirring wheel.
Make waffles ahead of time, slap them in the toaster or microwave and either eat them as normal or put two together with stuff in between and eat a waffle sandwich as you travel.
All of these require preparing ahead of time, and a simple nuking, which you could do while getting your lunch out of the fridge, will be better for you than the drive through and will be much faster than a drive through.
Also consider other alternative ideas for breakfast like fruit, trail mix, breakfast cookies, make muffins on the weekend and eat during the week?they keep better if you store them in the frig. The variety of muffins you can make is endless.
Once you have given in and ate fast food, then challenge yourself to go longer the next time, repeat.
Think about what you buy at the fast food place and how you could make it at home.

First for my homework

Ill report on the craft show Saturday. It was a big success. It was on par with the one the previous Saturday as far as financial success. We got to meet lots of people and make some contacts with other business people. I got to suggest to an agent that she consider using my coasters as housewarming gifts for clients. She is adding me to her e-mail list and is going to recommend me to her co-workers. Now, just so you know we are not getting rich from this but we are going from the red to the black. Of course we have cash flowed this and will be paying ourselves back.thewall
I have one more craft show this season and its this coming Saturday. It is a school fund raiser for Riverdale Christian Academy in Baton Rouge. If any of you are in the area, I hope youll come by and introduce yourselves. I know some people in attendance will be buying Christmas gifts because I have read it on facebook.
I have also paid a few bills on the home front. I need to get buy the bank and pay the mortgage and need to send another bill by mail.

Very few people will ever have more than $3M

in their retirement accounts. most people aren’t saving enough as it is. To me, it is one more knee jerk reaction to a few that have managed to accumulate money in an IRA. Now, I have run some numbers and really can’t figure out how an IRA can grow to $100M without some serious compounding of 50% a year, but taxes will be paid on that IRA as soon as the person turns 70.5 and the taxes will be about $3M a year.
The AMT was designed over 30 rich people. Now it affects millions. The upper 1% will always be rich, have some advantages the rest of us don’t have, but the gov’t doesn’t have to keep creating rules because of 1% of 1%.

I was going to threaten that, but

a) the foundation already knows that I don’t hardly ever leave the property so that threat wouldn’t be taken seriously, and b) I don’t like even suggesting that problems can be solved with bodily harm. After all, if beatings were the answer, wow I’d be sore!

In all seriousness, I think it’s very easy to look at how we have not yet met our goals (which creates a certain amount of frustration), rather than where we have been and where we are now (which can and does create a certain amount of satisfaction). I can get down in the dumps with the very best of ’em, pretty much at the drop of a hat. I wouldn’t quite call myself gazelle intense at the moment, simply because there’s only so much energy to go around any given day, and this place takes a lot of my energy as it is. So yea I get bummed sometimes when I read about how folks are scrounging ways to come up with this-or-that additional source of income, when I’m scraping by just to get through the day. But I’m looking at everything we produce right now in terms of “how much can I sell that for, to knock down that debt a little more?” And I’ll say it right here and now, that it’s taking too damn long for my own preferences. Now that I really understand how deep in I was, it’s a daily disgust that I’m still under water in any respect. I wanted to do something groovy for my 50th birthday, coming up in 2.5 years, and right now I’ll be darned lucky to be out of debt by then. Yea, that frustration gets real high sometimes.

But let’s also give credit where credit is due, no pun intended. Markuzz, you’ve done an amazing job and I think that deserves more recognition than it gets. Besides, if you don’t cheer the heck up, well, I think Jan is gonna trounce you and I’ll be cheering her on. Maybe it’s true what they say about “the kind word and the 2×4 succeed where the kind word alone may fail.” I can come up with kind words all the day long. Jan, I trust you can come up with a 2×4 if needed?????

May I be the first to say “but at least now you HAVE income!”

I swear, Eldred, you’re giving my husband a run for the money for title Chief Stormcloud! You’re employed! You saved your house! You got out of the unemployment rut and now you’re on your way again! If you never have $3 mill in savings, and “only” get up to some lower amount in savings, you’re still WAY ahead of the majority of the nation! C’mon now! Surely there’s something in there to celebrate!

That is correct and BOTH sides are angered by his proposed budget

Lets not forget that many of those on Capitol Hill are in the upper income bracket and for them to vote for such a thing would be self destructive.
We are striving to get debt free asap, touching very little of what we can already draw on and have a game plan in place to live off of just the interest as long as possible. Now if someone will just kill Markuuuz, well be able to follow through on it.

Follow on to 2 books

Since most of garden is in the front yard, ive decided i’m going to grow a plant just “for seed” in a back yard space. Largely because the broccoli looked so scraggly after it flowered, it was so huge. So i figure if i have just one section of the backyard or even in pots growing just from seed it will keep the yard police off my doorstep.

Voluntary Repo

We recently returned our car to the finance company in a Voluntary Repo and the finance company (Credit Acceptance) told us that they will try to sell it at Auction then we would owe the difference. Can anyone tell me if we negotiate a reduced settlement agreement on the balance after auction?
Well, it wouldn’t cost you anything to ASK for a reduced settlement. Get money from inc, so you might re-iterate your financial problems (after all, you wouldn’t have turned the thing back if if you could AFFORD it). You might also mention that you’re trying to avoid having to declare bankruptcy. That’s not a lie – you ARE trying to avoid bankruptcy. And you’re not telling them that you WILL file BK. But that puts a thought in their mind that if they push TOO hard, they might not get ANYTHING.

Weve not heard a word

dbil said hed look into moving dmil in with him, but THE sil refuses to accept any form of communication from any of the siblings. None of us have the money for a long court battle, so dbil is looking into other avenues he knows about.

As for the house? Who knows? Dh doesnt think there was ever a house because sil is known for making up scenarios to just get money to spend on a whim elsewhere. We dont expect to hear shes done anything else until about Oct. You can pretty well set your calendar by her money grabs. Late Feb/early Mar every year, and then again late Oct/early Nov. The broker has not heard another peep out of her.

We figure the next move is shell claim dmil has a health issue. We are prepared for that.

I agree that it affects a small %

but once the horse is out of the gates, so to stay, there is no guarantee it will stay there. Thats by design of course. No one cares unless it affects them directly. So government starts with a small % and then can lower the ceiling later a bit at a time. It is just one more attack against the rich in our country.

One might be able to move things off shore ? but its stupid to have to jump through hoops to keep the governments greedy hands off ones RETIREMENT. Obama and his government should cut spending, not try every means to get their hands on peoples money.

Its been theorized that retirement savings would be the next thing to be taxed, didnt take long.

I know that the people I deal with

on a day to day basis (outside my immediate family and this list) always say I dont have enough money to save. Now we all know that even if its a penny or two here and there anyone can save something.

People also cant seem to stand the idea that someone has money in savings. I know it drives THE sil nuts that dh and I are standing guard on dmils savings and keeping it out of sils reach. She has flat said in the past that dmil doesnt need a savings account, that she is in 85 and should be spending it and enjoying it. That she will NEVER need the savings account. That she will never have a medical emergency, or go into a nursing home. It really makes her mad when we point out what weve seen in my own personal experience.

Having been a person who cares for the elderly since I was about 10 years old I can tell you that the elderly ALWAYS need savings. That there is never a guarantee that they wont need additional health care, whether it be in their own home or a nursing home. We cant get her to understand is all it takes is one, or several mini, strokes to leave a person in the fetal position needing round the clock care the rest of their life?my Grandmother Poyner. One day too long out in the sun to develop skin cancer and need cancer treatment for the rest of their life?my grandfather Poyner. One slip and fall in the bathroom to get a broken back and end up spending your final days in a nursing home?my Grandmother Cumine, the list goes on and on. These three were all older than 85 when it happened.

Sil replies that shell take care of dmil no matter what, so the savings isnt needed. Yeah right, she doesnt even give her the daily meds shes suppose to take now. Plus, those meds can get VERY expensive?See Grandpa Poyner. So well keep guarding the money, as little as it is. It will at least get her some help when she needs it.

As for shooting for 3 mil, Im for it, but at age 62, dh 65, it might be a little tougher for us to get there LOL!


Then one moves their savings elsewhere. Like offshore.

There are other ways to save your money, go back to freezers, mattresses, burying in the back yard.

Problem is, people aren’t really saving anyway, so if someone reaches 3mil in an IRA, that is no small feat and I believe they have savings/investments elsewhere as well.

Funny to see outrage about saving 3mil, is seems like a challenge to me to actually get to that point. Come on, lets do it! I am going for it, my new goal is to take on the government, be part of the .03% with 3m in n IRA.

Basically it says Obama wants to put a limit on how much you can put in retirement savings

Granted the cap is 3 million in assets, but the problem is the government tends to change numbers OFTEN, remember when there would be no tax hike for the middle and lower classes only those that make over $250,000?check your paychecks. I know in this household we are no where near $250,000 yet we lost over $100 of our snowball a paycheck (every two weeks) due to them letting the tax exemption expire, and now they want to cut how much those on social security will receive for cost of living raises (after three years of NO cost of living raises at all). Plus the proposed budgets include MORE tax hikes.
Also, when they consider assets, are they talking ONLY cash assets ? Or are they talking assets in general? It may be one thing now, but will it stay that way in the future, or will they suddenly decide you should not have a paid for home, car AND a retirement fund?

I do not want this to turn into a political argument. What I want to say is WHO should put a limit on ANYONE if they have the gumption to put money back for their own retirement? Why should a person be punished for saving money over any certain limit?

On the subject of retirement and rules/laws about how much

The topic of discussion in my home today along this line is about what the law already says you can NOT have. Background, previously we had an HSA account and it was very handy to meet co-pays with and out of pocket for what our insurance didnt cover. When open enrollment for our insurance happened in 2013 dh was told he could no longer have an HSA. He took it to mean because we changed from catastrophic insurance to a PPO and told me we would have to close the account.

I had a few doctor bills and some rxs to order and so that was an easy task. I zeroed the account before the date we were told we had to do it by. Then I tried to go online to verify I hadnt gone over or under on the amount and to verify the account was closed. The online info told me no such account existed. Dh tried a few times over the next month and got the same result. So we took it to mean the account had been successfully closed.

Fast forward to this weekend when we got an you owe us money letter from the HSA, it stated we were over drawn and needed to pay them immediately. HUH? It had been nearly a year and now we suddenly owe them money?
Needless to say I called them first thing this morning. They claimed we owed them fees for keeping the account open. I let the gal go on and on and when she finally finished I told her dh had been told at work he could no longer have the account and what wed done and what had happened. Then asked why we hadnt been notified of the problem sooner.

There was silence on her end for a bit and then she said How old is your husband?


Is he on Medicare?

Yes, part A only, they put him on it automatically, he didnt sign up for it. We still have group coverage from his employer

His HR person is right, its against the law for him to have an HSA if hes on Medicare.

So, what do we do now?

I refund the fees, and close the account. You will receive a letter stating this is what is being done and if you had an unused balance prior to the fees you will receive a check within the next two weeks.

The long and the short of it, is they force you to take Medicare as you are turning 65 and it is illegal for you to have an HSA in your name.

Well yes and no

The events are scheduled, there are local events?generally just on weekends, national events can be 2 weeks or longer and international events. These are put on by various clubs ie: Commanche Peak Muzzleloaders is one that comes to mind. The national Muzzleloaders, state parks (like the one this weekend), museums (Ft. Bridger) and similar organizations.

Word of a voo is spread by word of mouth, flyers, Muzzleloader magazine, and various buckskinning websites and newsletters. You generally know a year or so ahead of time when one will be. I have/had several friends who traveled year round doing nothing but voo and earned their living do it. I traveled full time one year with my kids when they were out of school for the summer and with friends when they were in school. The rest of the time I did weekenders and 1-2 nationals a year.

When we first started doing it Ft. Washita (state park) and Wooloroc (a museum) paid us to come and set-up. Now a days there are camping fees, traders fees and in some camps Ive heard rumors there are now fees to enter the events.

The events include tomahawk throwing, fire starting (no matches allowed?even though Lucifers did exist during that time period) and yes I can start a fire with a piece of steel and a hunk of flint. Skillet toss, all sorts of black powder shooting events?I love watching candle shoots (you try to shoot the flame off the candle without touching the candle itself?some of those guys are REALLY good), Mountain man runs (kind of a historic iron man run), cannon shoots ( my kids LOVED the candy cannons?hard candy was shot out of the barrel instead of the usual wadding and cannon ball) and much more.

Big encampments generally have seminars on doing the early American crafts too. I gave lessons on Inkle Loom weaving, cord making with a lucet, needle tatting, clothes making, and the most fun of all?how to play early American games like Jacobs ladder, marbles, and similar games.

Kids are safe in camp because everyone in camp is their mom and dad if a child is seen with someone not familiar to the camp every skinner they pass will ask where the child is going and who their friend is. If even one parent felt the least bit hinky about something the child would be detained until their actual parent could be located and it was verified the person was a safe person for them to be with. Many of the kids are home schooled. My kids grew up in voo. While they attended public school they got their true education by traveling to all the historical sites we visited in the course of running the circuit for 15 years.

There was a rendezvous encampment at Dripping Springs State Park not far from me

We walked not only through the encampment, looking for friends, but we walked around the outer edges of it as well, to just look at the canvas from afar and remember. There is something inspiring about looking at an encampment from a distance.
The type of voo I am referring to is a family friendly version of the pre-1840 Fur Trade Era Mountain Man Rendezvous (in other words, no camp followers or brawling allowed LOL!)
Two inspiring moments come to mind. I was at one voo in Diamond, Mo and one Sunday morning just as I crawled out of my tent I hear bag pipes. I wandered to the center of camp to see a woman dressed in a white deer skin dress, standing in a swirling low ground fog in front of her tipi playing Amazing Grace by the time she finished she was surrounded by all attending the voo.
There in the mist, with wisps of smoke curling out of the near dead campfires were probably 100 of us dressed in pre-1840 clothing. While none of us thought to take a photo, it will always be in our memories.
Bagpipes are a big part of historical re-enactments and the other memory was also early morning. I was at North Eastern National Rendezvous on Schroon Lake in upstate NY. Each morning the Piper Brigade dressed in full kilted regalia would pipe the morning in coming over the crest of the hill just as the sun rose behind them.
In both memories the white canvas, tipis, wall tents, marquis tents, Bakers, lean tos are all part of the scenery and you truly feel you have stepped back in time.

I am wondering what you meant when you said you walked around a rendezvous?

I know what the word rendezvous means but I dont get what you mean when you say you walked around it. Maybe I am just having a dense, caffeine-deprived moment? LOL

About the red beans and rice … we LOVE LOVE LOVE red beans at our house. Down here in south Louisiana they can be quite a delicacy. In fact, I was trying to figure out this morning when I can fit them into the menu this week. DR can make it sound pretty bad, eating beans and rice that is. However around here it is quite the comfort food. In south Louisiana most restaurants have them on the menu every day and most have it as a special on Monday. Usually it is served with some sausage. For those who are eating it as a money saver, you can cut out or reduce the sausage. I use a pound of sausage for each pound of dried beans I cook.

Have fun taking advantage of the Veterans Day specials!

This last week was pretty quiet here at home

Dh worked 2 hours overtime every day this week, and ds was in Calument, OK doing a walk down all week. It gave me time to do some deep cleaning, lots of bean cooking (we only actually ate bean meals twice because of leftovers that were still in the fridge from previous meals)?more beans to come LOL!
I managed to make small extra payments on the Best Buy account, but its still very near the $1,800 mark?driving me NUTS! I want that sucker GONE!
Ds came home for the weekend, but we barely saw him because dh and I went out to walk around a rendezvous that was less than 30 miles from our home hoping to see some old friends. Only one of the grey beards we knew was there, but we chatted with him awhile about old times. Hes been considering stopping voo too because so many of our friends have gone on to their reward.
It was a bittersweet day, we talked about those who were gone, and the young bucks coming up and of course the good and bad times of the 15 years wed vooed together. Walking Stick said we should have gone to Wooloroc voo two weeks earlier because what was left of most of our friends were there. Maybe well visit the spring one there.
Dh and I agreed while we miss our friends, the fun and atmosphere of voo we most certainly do not miss all the work of setting up and especially tearing down of camp or being subjected to all the variables of the weather. Far better to camp in our tin tipi and just visit with friends when we stumble upon a voo.
This week looks to be much as the same as last week. I made another small payment on BB this morning first thing (Im trying to pay SOMETHING every 3-4 days) I shoved the guys out the door early, dh to Tulsa, ds back to Calument. Ill spend the day working on my candle cupboard most likely. Yes, I know a candle cupboard? Its a small 2 shelved cabinet that I keep all my candles, candle sticks and such in. Its actually in pretty good condition, but Im thinking there are some votive cups I never use in there that could go and Im in a deep cleaning sort of mood.
Cold weather is suppose to hit here tomorrow, so the fireplace preparation is on my agenda for the day today as well. Weve only needed two fires so far this fall and they were basically to take the chill off the air inside. Serious colder weather is headed our way now.
Tonight we are taking advantage of the Veterans Day specials at the restaurants and going to go out for dinner where dh can eat free and I can eat on the seniors menu. It wont be quite as cheap as a bean supper, but hey it will be a change of pace. LOL! Tomorrow has Red Beans and Rice on its menu.
So while we look forward to being debt free we also looked back at all the good friends, many of which were Veterans like dh, this last week.